• Kyodo

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Residents of Hiroshima city who evacuated their homes after last week’s deadly mudslides began moving into temporary housing on Thursday, with the municipal government scrambling to provide necessary support amid concern the relocation may be prolonged.

While about 1,200 people remain in shelters following the rain-triggered disaster, the mayor of Hiroshima indicated the same day that the evacuation advisories and orders affecting about 150,000 residents may be lifted after the municipal office evaluates the risks of land collapse in their area.

The death toll from the mudslides climbed to 72, with police announcing another body had been found. Ten people are still listed as missing as police officers, firefighters and Self-Defense Forces personnel continue their search.

The Hiroshima Prefectural Government and the municipal office have provided 157 housing units. Evacuees that were selected by lottery to live in the municipal housing units began moving in on Thursday, with those slated to move into prefectural housing units expected to do so in about a week.

The evacuees who are moving, or expect to move, into temporary housing units have had their homes destroyed or damaged in the mudslides.

The municipal housing units are rent-free, and evacuees can live there for up to six months, in principle, according to the municipal office. The municipality has secured 212 additional housing units for those not selected in the lottery, with plans to build additional temporary housing.

Basing his assessment on recent rainfall forecasts by the weather agency, Mayor Kazumi Matsui said Thursday that preparations are being made to lift the evacuation advisories and orders that are currently affecting about 150,000 people in the city.

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